Dying For the World
Conceiving and writing large portions of this album in the wake of Sept. 11th, New Yorker Blackie Lawless’s anger and confusion sounds genuine and irrepressibly agitated on here. And while his reactions are understandable and human, his response is less so. Where he once played the part of society’s rebel and outsider, this album sees him taking the side of the people he once rebelled against. Much of Dying For the World is spent detailing Blackie’s resentment against everything and everyone that is not American, not white, not Christian. “My God will kill your God,” he claims in the song called “Stone Cold Killers,” which will serve to sum up both the attitude and the ignorance of this album and of Blackie’s “political” musings.
Shame about that, then, because the music itself is some of his better stuff of late. Admittedly, that doesn’t say too much, as his last decent musical effort was The Crimson Idol, released a full decade ago. Still, this is prime time W.A.S.P. with Blackie singing better than ever and featuring his best, most exciting band since the very early days way back when. “My Wicked Heart” is a biting, energetic performance that ranks among his finest, and the moving “Trail Of Tears” is a brave move for him, showing a willingness to broaden his musical scope.
While the dubious viewpoints expressed leave an uncomfortable air about this album, it’s still good to hear that Blackie’s back on track again. If he learns to accept that some things are more complicated than they appear on first sight, he may yet have his best album ahead of him.
Sanctuary Records: http://www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.com